Foodwithlegs has been moved to its new home at foodwithlegs.com this post can be found on the new site here.

After the setback of  accumulated snow earlier in the week the weather has now become much sunnier and spring-like.

Tomato seedlings crowded two or three to a cell and starting to push out their first true leaves

Tomato seedlings crowded two or three to a cell and starting to push out their first true leaves

The tomatoes germinated at a much better rate than expected.  This means that I face one of the tougher moments in the gardening year.  Two or three seedlings cannot co-exist in a single cell.  They will compete for nutrients and water and end up killing each other.  More to the point it is very difficult (at least for amateurs gardeners of my level) to separate the delicate root systems and transplant these tiny siamese seedlings into separate containers.  The only solution I can see is to use a pair of scissors to remove all but the strongest seedling in each cell.  It is a amazing that each of these little guys will produce at least ten pounds of tomatoes if given the right growing conditions but similarly difficult to willfully destroy the seedlings that have nothing obviously wrong with them. (more…)

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The weather is really starting to warm up.  I was even able to spend a couple hours reading in the backyard this afternoon.  When this happens and the date reaches the middle of March it’s the time when gardening becomes something to do instead of just something to plan for and think about.  My favourite farming and gardening blog had a post this week about his seed-starting schedule.  Obviously, this also means that seeds go quickly from being in envelopes that fit in a drawer to plastic trays full of dirt that, well, don’t really fit anywhere.

Lettuce seedlings getting a "leggy" and ready for transplanting

Lettuce seedlings getting a "leggy" are ready for transplanting

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As I mentioned in my post about starting the parsley, last year seed starting began on St. Patrick’s Day.  This year I’m more experienced, ambitious, and have more space for growing and so things got started even earlier.  In a somewhat random nod to this new tradition I started part of a  packet of lettuce seeds in the “windowsill greenhouse” (pictured below) on St. Valentine’s Day.

Lettuce seeds sprouting on the windowsill

Lettuce seeds sprouting on the windowsill

If these stick to schedule and are ready to be transplanted before the middle of April they will probably never end up in the garden but instead will go into a window box and provide the occasional salad garnish for meals in the city.  I’m a bit disappointed that the germination rate seems to be so spotty.  I started with the cells on the right with bigger seeds (this is mixed packet of different lettuce seeds) and one seed per cell.  By the time I got to the cells on the left and the much smaller seeds laziness kicked in and I just poured four or five seeds into each cell.  Do bigger seeds take longer to germinate?